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Grammar Exercise #10

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic.

Air pollution in cities is growing at an alarming rate. What measures could be taken to
address this problem?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples.

Write at least 250 words.

Here is a model answer. Look at the words or phrases in capitals. Choose the most appropriate
word or phrase.

Air pollution can DEFINE / BE DEFINED as the addition of something harmful to the air at a
faster rate than it can ABSORB / BE ABSORBED. Everyone should be concerned about air
pollution. It AFFECTS / IS AFFECTED us all, and as it CONTINUES / IS CONTINUED to
worsen, so the environmental impact increases.

One of the major causes of air pollution in cities is car use. Cars USE / ARE USED for even the
shortest of journeys, and all efforts by governments to encourage people TO USE / TO BE
USED public transport seem to be failing. Industry is another major cause of pollution in our
cities, but fortunately, new industrial sites ARE BUILDING / ARE BEING BUILT away from
large urban centres.

It SAYS / IS SAID that there are too many contributing factors for us TO DECIDE / TO BE
DECIDED exactly which one is the main problem, but I believe that one of the most serious
problems that needs TO TACKLE / TACKLING is the use of the car. In some cities laws HAVE
PASSED / HAVE BEEN PASSED concerning car use. Athens, for example, only ALLOWS / IS
ALLOWED a certain number of cars into the city centre each day. In my opinion, this is a good
idea. With this kind of law people have no choice and FORCE / ARE FORCED to use buses and
trains. This ensures governments KNOW / IS KNOWN that public transport WILL USE / WILL
BE USED, and can therefore justify the investment and expense of ensuring the system works
properly.

Another thing governments could do is to force people to HAVE THEIR CARS CHECKED /
CHECK THEIR CARS for carbon emissions and fine people with cars that produce high levels
of harmful gases.
Grammar Exercise #9
Complete the letter using words from the box below. There are some extra words which you
won’t need.

hear meet agree conclusion hearing

however attention make next because

since limit past also is

when know receive stop run

where would

Dear Professor David,

I have been living in International House now for the .................... eight months and feel very
much at home as it is very comfortable and reasonably priced. ...................., I would like to draw
your .................... to the following problems.

First of all, the computer room in the basement has been closed for the last three
weeks .................... of a shortage of technical staff. .................... it not be possible to pay
computer-science students to .................... the hall's computer room on a rota basis?

Secondly, noise levels from student parties have increased recently. I think it would be a good
idea to .................... parties to Friday or Saturday nights and from 8.00 to 12.30 in term time. I
am sure you will .................... that it is very hard to study .................... someone is having an all-
night party in the middle of the week!

I look forward to .................... from you in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Cates
Grammar Exercise #8
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You stayed with a family in another country while you were studying.
Write a letter to the family. In your letter:

 thank the family for your stay.


 say what you enjoyed about your stay.

 ask the family to stay with you in the future.

Write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Here is a model answer. Look at the words or phrases in capitals. Choose the most appropriate
word or phrase.

Dear Luca and Alexandra,

I’m WRITING / WRITTING to thank you for the lovely time I had STAYED / STAYING in
your gorgeous house in Patras while I was STUDING / STUDYING Greek LAST / THE LAST
Winter.

As you know, I’d BEEN NEVER / NEVER BEEN to Greece when I arrived IN / TO Athens, and
I was thrilled to FIND / FINDING so many wonderful PEOPLE / PERSONS and amazing
archaeological sites. I really had no idea about Greece’s HERITAGE RICH / RICH HERITAGE.
Almost all the stereotypes we HAD / HAVE in London of Greece WAS / WERE soon proven
wrong. I met many people WHO’S / WHOSE worldview is pretty much the same as my own.
I’ve CERTAINLY TOLD / TOLD CERTAINLY everyone back home about the FASCINATED /
FASCINATING and generous community of Patras.

My most memorable experience was CELEBRATE / CELEBRATING the Patras Carnival with
you - that incredible Saturday evening PARADE / PERADE and those bonfires, as well as the
live music in four LANGUAGE / LANGUAGES. I’m so GRATEFUL / GREATFUL you shared
those things with me.

Please ACCEPT / EXCEPT a small token of my gratitude, enclosed, and REMEMBER /


REMIND, if you’re ever in London, I’d be delighted TO PUT YOU UP / TO PUT UP YOU and
show you around.

Your friend,

David
Present Simple
subject + verb/verb + (e)s

Examples: He plays tennis. She studies English.

subject + do/does not + verb

Examples: He doesn't play tennis. She doesn't study English.

do/does + subject + verb?

Example: Do you study English?

The principal uses of the present simple are listed below.

 To refer to habitual or repeated actions:


I read the Bible just about every day.
She never goes to the cinema.
He doesn't come here very often.
Do you smoke?
With the present simple, frequency adverbs are often used (e.g. usually, always,
frequently, generally, sometimes, rarely, often, never, normally, every day).
 To refer to permanent states:
She holds a university degree in economics.
Note: use the present perfect, not the present simple when describing how long or since
when something has continued:
She has taught economics since 1991. (not She has teaches economics since 1991)

 To talk about factual information, such as generally accepted truths or scientific facts:
Parents are generally blind to their children's faults.
Water boils at 100°C.
The following frequency adverbs are often used: generally, normally, usually

 To give instructions (e.g. cooking) or directions:


First, you add the sugar to the butter; then, you add two eggs.
You go up the stairs and turn right.

 To talk about what happens in books, plays and films:


In the film, a young woman travels to the countryside and soon falls in love.

 To use with state verbs when the meaning is not temporary. These verbs often describe
a state rather than an action and therefore do not normally have continuous tenses.
1) Verbs that describe senses: see, hear, smell, taste, feel, look, sound
The coffee tastes really bitter.
Note: when something is happening now, we use can:
I can’t see anything. It’s too dark.
2) Verbs of possession: have, belong, possess, own
This camera belongs to my wife.
3) Verbs of perception: know, believe, understand, forget, think, remember
I think she's too young to get married.
4) Verbs of emotion: care, like, dislike, love, hate, mind, prefer, enjoy, adore
Do you mind if I open the window?
I adore my Husband.
5) Verbs of description: seem, mean, look like, contain, sound, resemble, weigh
You resemble my father.

Grammar Tip

Continuous verbs are usually active verbs (verbs such as to learn), that refer to an action. Stative
verbs (such as to like), refer to a state, and are usually used in simple tenses, e.g. I like this song.
Who sings it? NOT I’m liking this song as to like is a state, not an action.

Some verbs such as to feel have both an active and a stative meaning.
Present Continuous

subject + am/is/are + verb + ing


Example: She is working in Dubai.

subject + am/is/are not + verb + ing


Example: I am not working in Dubai.

am/is/are + subject + verb + ing?


Example: Are you working in Dubai?

The principal uses of the present continuous are listed below.

 To describe actions happening at the exact moment of speech:


The boy is crying.
 To refer to temporary situations:
I'm living in London at the moment. (I don't normally live here)
My cousin is working in a restaurant until she finds a job in her field.
The present continuous is often used with: now, at the moment, today, this
morning/afternoon/evening/week/month/year, currently

 To refer to tendencies and trends:


The world's population is increasing rapidly.
Google is making it easier for people to find, rate and share information about local
businesses.

 To express irritation, anger or envy:


She's always losing her gloves! (complaint)
He's always travelling around the world! (envy)
The following adverbs are often used: always, constantly, forever

 To use with state verbs when the meaning is temporary.


I'm thinking of buying a new car. (trying to reach a decision)
I think you should buy a new car. (my opinion, so not temporary)

He is tasting the wine they have brought him. (activity)


The wine tastes sweet rather than sour. (sense)

I was having a bath when the phone rang. (activity, not possession)
The room has a private bathroom with a tub and shower. (possession)

 Grammar Exercise #1: Present Simple or


Present Continuous?
 Fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verbs in brackets.
 1) This workshop ............. (take place) in the Art Gallery every Wednesday from 10am-
12pm.

2) The whole team ............. (perform) well at the moment. I believe they will win.

3) In the UK students ............. (enter) law undergraduate degree programmes


immediately after high school.

4) Natural gas spot prices ............. (fall) as a result of relatively warm weather in much of
the U.S.

5) Green plants ............. (consume) carbon dioxide and ............. (release) oxygen under
the influence of light.

6) What ............. (you/do)? I ............. (try) to write an essay.

7) Please be quiet! I ............. (want) to watch the game.

8) The company ............. (operate) a wide range of cultural sightseeing every year.

9) My parents ............. (sail) around western Italy this summer, and probably won't be
back until late September.

10) Paula is busy right now. She ............. (talk) on the phone with her dad.
Past Simple

subject + verb + (e)d


Example: She studied at Cambridge University.

subject + did not + verb


Example: She didn't study at Cambridge
University.

did + subject + verb?


Example: Did she study at Cambridge University?

In English, for example, verbs such as study, call and work are regular, since they form their
inflected parts by adding the typical endings -s, -ing and -ed, to give forms such as studied,
called and worked. On the other hand, many verbs such as go, come and write are irregular,
since some of their parts are not made according to the typical pattern: went (go), came
(come), wrote (write).

Note: the verb be is irregular: I/he/she/it was; you/we/they were

The principal uses of the past simple are listed below.

 To refer to an action completed in the past at a definite time:


Yesterday I called my supervisor to apologize for not attending the last meeting.
Note: no time reference is necessary if it is already known:
Why did you miss the meeting? (in the story I just told you about)
 To refer to a series of completed actions in the past:
I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
We often use words like next or then to indicate the sequence of events:
Then, I got a bus into the city centre and found a nice restaurant to eat in.

 To talk about past habits:


I studied German when I was a child.
I went on a long bike ride every Saturday when I was at school.
Note: used to and would can also be used.

 To refer to a long-term situation in the past which is no longer true:


He played for our team for 10 years.

People at that time believed that the Earth was the centre of the solar system.
Note: used to and would can also be used.
Grammar Exercise #3: Past Simple
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Life in the 21st century has indeed become fast-paced and frantic compared to that of 50
years ago, when the pace of life was slower.

What do you think were the advantages and disadvantages of living a slower paced life?

Write at least 250 words.

Model answer

Read the following sample answer. Complete the answer by filling the gaps with a verb from the
box below.

be enjoy mean travel worry

feel suffer take spend have

The pace of life in today’s society is much faster than in the past, because of changes in people’s
habits and in the world of work. In the past, there were both advantages and disadvantages to
living a slower paced-life.

There .................... a number of benefits of people's lifestyle in the past. Firstly, people
probably .................... less from stress because they were not often in a hurry. Secondly,
they .................... more time with friends and family, especially at mealtimes and on traditional
holidays. People .................... less about being the best in their job or about earning a lot of
money. They probably .................... happier.
However, in my view, the slower pace of life also .................... several important disadvantages.
People .................... much less, either for work or holidays, so their lives were more limited.
Basic tasks such as carrying objects, cleaning and washing .................... up a lot of their time. As
a result, they .................... their free time less than people today. The slower pace of life
also .................... that it was more difficult for people to change or improve their situation by
studying of finding a better job.

All in all, I believe that the disadvantages of the slower pace of life in the past were greater than
the advantages. People had more free time but they were not always able to benefit from it
because they had less control over their lives, both at home and at work.

Past Continuous

subject + was/were + verb + -ing

Example: He was watching TV.

subject + was/were not + verb + -ing

Example: You weren't watching TV.

was/were + subject + verb + -ing?

Example: Were we watching TV?

The principal uses of the past continuous are listed below.

 To set the "background scene" to an event or action. We use the past continuous to
describe the background scene and the past simple to describe the event or action:
I saw him at 8 o'clock on Monday morning while he was waiting for the school bus.
I was shopping in a supermarket when I noticed a strange-looking man.

We may have more than one background scene happening concurrently:


I was lying on my bed and listening to one of my favorite songs.
 To emphasize activities which continued for some time but whose exact limits are not
known and are not important. Notice the important difference between these two sentences:
For a while last year I was playing football for my local team and teaching English in the local
elementary schools. (It doesn't indicate whether the actions were completed or not, or whether
they happened concurrently)
Last year I played football for my local team and taught English in the local elementary
schools. (It indicates that all of the actions are now complete, and probabley happened in that
order)
Note: state verbs cannot be used in any continuous tense.

Used to and Would

used to / would + infinitive

Example: I used to / would smoke.

did not + use to + infinitive

Example: I did't use to smoke.

did ... use to + infinitive?

Example: did you use to smoke?


 We use used to + infinitive or would + infinitive to describe repeated actions in the past:
I used to keep the windows closed when I first moved in. (but I stopped doing this)
I would leave the windows open whenever I was at home.
Note: we do not usually use would in the negative form and in Yes/No questions.
 We use used to + infinitive to describe past states that are usually no longer true:
We used to live in London when I was a kid. (but we don’t now: not We would live in London
when I was a kid.)

 We do not use used to to refer to specific restricted periods in the past or saying how
long it took or how many times:
I lived in New York City for ten years. (not I used to live in New York City for ten years.)
I went to London twice when I was young. (not I used to go to London twice when I was young.)
Note: we do not use would with state verbs.

Present Perfect Simple

have/has + past participle

Example: He has finished his homework.

have/has not + past participle

Example: I haven't finished my homework.

have/has ... + past participle?

Example: Have you finished your homework?


The principal uses of the present perfect are listed below.

 To refer to a time period which is not yet finished (e.g. today, this month):
We've bought a new house this week. (an incomplete period)

 To show that something happened in the past. We don't state when is happened:
I've lost my watch. Have you seen it anywhere?

Note: If we give the time we must use the simple past:


I lost my watch yesterday. (not I've lost my watch yesterday)

The following time expressions are often used: ever, never, always, up to now, so far.
This is the worst storm we've ever had. (at any point before now)

 To talk about a situation which started in the past and usually continues after the time of
speaking in the present:

He has lived here for six years. (He has lived here till now)

We use for with a lenght of time (e.g. for three weeks, for two days, for six years) and since with
a point in time (e.g. since 2010, since Wednesday, since nine o'clock, since I was five, since I
moved here)
 To talk about an action which occured at an unstated time in the past, provided that there
is still a connection with the present:
I’ve collected all the documents that are needed for the house sale. (I have the documents now)

Note: If we give the time we must use the simple past:


I lost my watch yesterday. (not I've lost my watch yesterday)

The following time expressions are often used: recently, just, already, and yet with negatives or
questions.
I've just arrived.
Have you done your homework yet?

Compare the use of the present perfect with the past simple:

Present perfect Past simple


links the past with the present:
only talks about the past:
John has won several awards. (at some point
John won several awards in 2012.
before now and he may win more awards)
states a specific past time, or the time is
does not talk about a specific time in the
understood:
past:
I read the latest issue of the Magazine when I
Have you read the latest issue of the
was at home. (I'm not at home now and the
Magazine? (at some time before now)
reading is finished)
uses time expressions that show the time uses time expressions that show the time is
period is unfinished: finished:
I haven't seen John this morning. (up to 12 I didn't see John this morning. (after 12 noon,
noon, the morning isn't finished) last morning has finished)

Note the position of the following time expressions that occur with the present perfect:

 between the auxiliary and main verb (e.g. recently, already, always, ever, just, never):
I've already bought my ticket.
I’ve never met your brother.

Ever is generally used with questions or negatives:


Have you ever been to London?
 after the main verb (e.g. all my life, every day, yet, before, for ages, for two weeks, since
2001, since I was ten etc.)
I haven't seen him for ages.
I’ve known John since I was ten.

if there is an object clause, the time expression comes at the end:


I've read this book every morning since then.
He hasn't ridden since he broke his arm.

Grammar Exercise #2: Past Simple or


Present Perfect Simple?
Look at the chart and fill in the gaps with the past simple or present perfect simple of the verbs in
brackets to make true sentences.

1) The chart shows the percentage of American students who ............. (use) illicit drugs since
2000.

2) The proportion of female students who have ever used illicit drugs ............. (increase) by more
than 50% since 2000.

3) In 2010, the percentage of American male students reported to be using drugs ............. (rise) to
50%.
4) From the graph we can see that illicit drug use among American female students .............
(rise) each year.

5) The percentage of male students who used illicit drugs ............. (be) greater than the
percentage of female students from 2000 to 2010.

6) However, American female students ............. (overtake) male students in drug usage since
2010.

7) The overall drug-use rate among American students ............. (grow) each year and the most
significant rise ............. (occure) between 2000 and 2005.

Conditional Sentences
Conditional structures are used to talk about a condition and a possible result or consequence.
The condition is something that must happen first in order for something else to happen as a
result or consequence. Conditionals are complex sentences, which consist of an if-clause,
followed by a main clause. Either clause can be positive or negative.

1) Zero conditional
if + present tense + present tense

If you heat water to 100 degrees, it boils.

present tense + if + present tense

Water boils if you heat it to 100 degrees.

Zero conditional is used to talk about factual or true information. We use the same tense (present
or past) in both the if-clause and the main clause (if has a similar meaning to every time):

If you cool water below zero degrees, it freezes.

We can also use when to introduce the condition:

When you visit a place of worship, you dress appropriately.

If it is no longer a fact we use the past tense:

When I was a child, if I was naughty, my parents sent me to bed early.


2) First conditional
if + present tense + will/won’t (might/could/going to) + verb

If you invest your money, it will grow.

will/won’t (might/could/going to) + verb + if + present tense

Your money will grow if you invest it.

First conditional is used to talk about future situations based on conditions. We use the present
tense in the if-clause and a future form in the main clause:

If the world continues to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, global warming will rise to two
degrees Celsius by 2036.

We can use might, may, or could instead of will to suggest something is less probable:

If it’s foggy tonight, the plane may be late.

or can to mean sometimes:

If you travel on weekends, the roads can be very crowded. (this sometimes happens)

3) Second conditional
if + past tense + would(n’t) (might/could) + verb
If you invested your money, it would grow.

would(n’t) (might/could) + verb + if + past tense

Your money would grow if you invested it.

Second conditional is used to talk about something that’s imaginary, impossible or unlikely in the
present or future. The past tense in the if-clause does not refer to past time:

If I won £100,000, I would give up my job.


Note: with the verb be we can use was or were with I/he/she/it:

If I were/was you, I would buy a car.

We can use was/were + infinitive to refer to an improbable action:

If I were to win one million dollars, I would give up my job.

4) Third conditional
if + past perfect + would(n’t) have + past participle

If you’d asked me, I’d have done it.

would(n’t) have + past participle + if + past perfect

I’d have done it if you’d asked me.

Third conditional is used to speculate about past events. It is often used to express regret or to
imagine the result of something that did not happen:

If she had been in her office, I would have seen her. (= she was not in her office so I didn’t see
her)

In the main clause we can use might or could to say that something was less certain:

If I’d asked her, she might have helped me. (possibility)

5) Mixed conditional
if + past perfect + would(n’t) + verb

If you’d saved more, you’d be rich.

if + past simple + would(n’t) have + past participle

If you were sensible, you’d have saved more.


if + past perfect + would(n’t) be + ing

If you hadn’t saved, you wouldn’t be going on holiday.

if + past continuous + would(n’t) + verb

If you were going on holiday soon, you’d be happy.

if + past simple + would(n’t) be + ing

If you didn’t have savings, you wouldn’t be going on holiday.

Mixed conditional is used to express the present result of a past situation or explain how a
present situation affected a past action. To do this we use a combination of second and third
conditionals.

The present result of an imagined situation or action in the past (past situation + present result):

If I'd taken the medication as prescribed, I wouldn't be still sick. (= I didn’t take the medication
as prescribed so now I am still sick)

The past result of an imagined situation in the present (present situation + past result):

If I had more confidence, I would have got the job. (= I don’t have enough confidence so I didn’t
get the job)

The future result of an imagined situation or action in the past (past situation + future result):

If I hadn’t broken my leg, I’d be playing football latter. (= I did break my leg so I am not
playing football later)

The present result of an imagined situation or action in the future (future situation + present
result):

If I wasn’t meeting my mentor later, I’d be on vacation now. (= I am meeting my mentor later, so
I’m not on vacation now)

The future result of an imagined situation in the present (present situation + future result):
If I was in London, I’d be going to Trafalgar Square tomorrow because it’s St Patrick's Day. (= I
am not in London, so I won’t be going to Trafalgar Square tomorrow)

Grammar Tip

Conditional structures are usually presented as types (zero, first, second, third, mixed) using
specific structures. It is important to remember that these specific structures are a general guide
and that different tenses can be used in the condition clause. There are also alternatives to
will/would in the result clause.

Conditional structures can be useful for the IELTS Writing Task 2 to express facts or unreal
situations based on conditions or to speculate on results or consequences in the future or past.

Grammar Exercise #4
Read the following essay. Complete the answer by filling the gaps with a word from the box
below.

which at where if nevertheless

though the that my nonetheless

by than in when to

however there yet although still

It is rare for there to be an equal number of male and female students on a university course.
Traditionally, in Britain .................... least, physics students are mainly male. ....................
contrast, students studying modern languages such as French tend to be female. This raises two
important questions: is this because of discrimination, and what, if anything, should be done
about it?

In .................... mind, most universities do not discriminate in terms of gender. On ....................


contrary, they are keen to increase the number of women on physics courses, and increase the
number of men on French courses. The reason why there are more women on certain courses is
that more women apply. It may well also be true that, with certain courses, .................... equal
number of male and female students apply, the female applicants, for example, have better
qualifications .................... the male applicants, and are so given more places.

It is essential that universities are allowed to choose the best-qualified students for each
subject. .................... they are forced to accept students because of their gender rather than
ability, then the high standards of the university will decline. For this reason, I am opposed to
rules .................... control how many male and female students they accept. ...................., that
does not mean there is not a problem. In my opinion, the solution is to encourage children at a
young age to take an interest in a wide range of subjects.

In conclusion, .................... is no doubt that some university courses have more male or female
students. While this is not ideal, the solution is not to force universities to accept an equal
number of students. Universities should always choose the best students for each course,
whatever their gender.

Grammar Exercise #5
English Speaking Tip

Spend time before the test speaking and listening or reading in English rather than in your own
language so you are ‘thinking in English’ when you go into the examination room. Don’t worry
if you make a grammatical mistake – you are being assessed on various things, not just your
grammar.

You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes.
You have one minute to think about what you’re going to say.
You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Describe a place that you would like to visit.

You should say:

 where the place is?


 why would you like to visit that place?

 what you would do there?

Here is part of a sample answer to the task. Fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verbs in
brackets to make true sentences.
I think the place I would most like ............. (visit) is England. I ............. (learn) English for about
seven years now and I still ............. (be) to an English-speaking country. I think if I ............. (go)
somewhere like England, I'd be able to learn about the culture of another country. I ............. (go)
to Europe once with my family, but that was to Italy. I really enjoyed ............. (see) all the tourist
attractions but it's difficult when you don't speak the local language. My father used .............
(live) in England when he was a student and he says that if he ............. (do) that, then wouldn't
have learned to speak English with a good accent. One of my ambitions is ............. (study) there
like he did, which I am planning to do if I ............. (pass) all my exams.

Grammar Exercise #6
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The pie chart below shows the percentages of millionaires in the USA, by main profession.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make
comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.


Read the following model answer. There are eight mistakes in the use of articles. Find and
correct the mistakes.

Model answer

The pie chart shows the main careers of millionaires in the United States in percentages. We can
see that a majority of millionaires are businesspeople, while other jobs such as in the
entertainment or the politics only represent small proportion of the total. However, it could be
said that millionaires are mostly people in the business and entertainment industries.

In the USA, people who work in a business account for just under two thirds of millionaires.
Next largest group of millionaires on the chart is people who work in film and television. They
account for 15% of the total. This group is closely followed by people who work in music. This
sector accounts for the tenth of all millionaires in the USA.

The smaller groups all make up fewer than ten per cent of millionaires when combined. These
people are sportspeople, politicians and people in other careers. The smallest group is an ‘other’
group with two per cent.

Grammar Exercise #7
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Due to the success of convenience food and ready-made meals, we are failing to pass on
adequate culinary skills to the next generation.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Write at least 250 words.

Read the following essay. Choose the best adjective, A, B or C, to fill spaces 1-10 in the answer.
Where more than one adjective is possible, choose the less common one. Use a dictionary to
check meaning if necessary.

1) A) slaving B) stressful C) unrelaxing

2) A) advanced B) multiplied C) increased

3) A) complicated B) difficult C) problematic


4) A) sympathetic B) intelligible C) understandable

5) A) nutritious B) supportive C) good

6) A) bad B) harmful C) deadly

7) A) alone B) single C) independent

8) A) basic B) top C) main

9) A) improbable B) disorderly C) unconventional

10) A) pure B) fresh C) new

In today’s (1) .................... world, where both parents are usually working full time, the
(2) .................... dependence on ready-made meals should come as no surprise. Even people
without children show little desire to cook a (3) .................... meal after working all day, which is
entirely (4) ..................... If they are earning and can afford to buy convenience food or go out to
restaurants, why shouldn’t they? At the same time, it cannot be denied that because of this, we
are losing the ability to cook (5) .................... meals at home.

The fact is that ready-made meals are not usually that good for us. They contain high levels of
salt and sugar, not to mention (6) .................... preservatives and artificial colorants. A diet that is
exclusively made up of such food is bound to be unhealthy.

Moreover, it is extremely important for children to learn how to cook, so that they will be fully
(7) .................... when they grow up. Given that schools have no time to devote to cooking on the
curriculum, the only place where children can learn (8) .................... culinary skills is in the
home. Speaking personally, I have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, by cooking
slightly (9) .................... meals. Whatever recipe I decide on, I only use (10) ....................
seasonal ingredients. Both my mother and father cook at home, and I have learned a lot of useful
tips from them. If I have children of my own, I shall make sure that they learn how to cook as
soon as they are old enough to enjoy the experience.

In conclusion, although some use of convenience food is natural, no one should rely on it
exclusively at the expense of home-cooked food. Not only is this unhealthy but it is also
threatening important skills with extinction.